To The Person Who Sent Me A Message About Their Drinking. . .

Where I spent too many years . . .

Where I spent too many years . . .

Yesterday someone sent me a message via this website, saying they had read a recent article in Elle Canada Magazine about alcohol in which I’m quoted.

This person — a man I think — told me a member of his family was a ‘raging alcoholic’ and that he was questioning his own drinking.

I get a number of these emails every month and, as I always do, I responded.  This time the message bounced back.  False email address.  Okay, it happens.  People want an anonymous place to dump their worries (Alcoholics Anonymous understands this, by the way), they chicken out.  They’re afraid to be judged.

However, I still think this person deserves a response, and so I’m going to post it here, in the hope he (or she) may drop in.  So here goes, with details redacted to preserve anonymity.

Dear ______

I’m sorry to hear about your _______’s troubles and hope she finds help soon.

As to your drinking, only you can decide if you have a problem or not, although the fact your questioning your drinking, and that there are alcoholic problems in your family are certainly indicators.

Ask yourself — are there consequences to your drinking?  Health?  Work?  Social life?  Relationships? Self-esteem…  Are you drinking in spite of the consequences?  If you drink too much, drink less.  If you can’t drink less, then don’t drink.  If you can’t NOT drink, then get help.

For an idea of what sensible amounts of booze are, you can go here:  You’ll see that the suggested amount is no more than 14 drinks a week for a man, and never more than 2 at a time.  For women, it’s 9 drinks a week, and never more than 2 at a time.  And these don’t mean the sort of tumblers full of scotch I used to drink, we’re taking SMALL.

If you do decide you need to stop drinking, there are a number of places to go for help.  For me, AA is what works, and has done since March 21, 1995.  If you want to get sober and are willing, it will work for you, too.  If you’re interested in a bit of my drinking history, you might want to read this essay.



So, if you’re the person who wrote me, I hope you’re okay.  Feel free to write again and let me know how it’s going.



  1. Amy Timpane on January 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Dear Lauren, I wasn’t the person who wrote to you … but I did happen to also read the article in Elle Canada entitled “Bottoms up! Why problem drinking is plaguing women now more than ever.” by Sarah Treleaven. How powerful, and I loved the comments attributed to you, which is why I looked you up, and here we are.

    The above blog, and the link you provided to your essay “When There’s No Sky Left” are so honest and real, you really struck a chord with me.

    For all of us that ere entangled with alcohol in unhealthy ways, thank you for encouraging us towards a better path.

    Amy T.

    • Lauren B. Davis on January 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Amy. I appreciate it.

  2. Jay Walsh on January 11, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Lauren, terrific blog… I’m sure many people can benefit from what you’ve shared. Thanks for including the link to your blog When There’s No Sky Left — I agree with the earlier comment about how powerful it is.

    Congratulations on having your novel The Empty Room named as one of the Best Books of 2013 by a number of prominent players. I Just saw that the Winnipeg Free Press also named it as one of the best, and you sure deserve it.

    regards, Jay

    • Lauren B. Davis on January 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      That’s very kind, Jay. Thank you. I’m delighted to think this story about a woman’s battle with booze is finding readers.

  3. Karen Crenshaw on January 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Hello Lauren, I was very moved by your essay and your compassion. I look forward to reading more of your writing. Thank you, Karen

    • Lauren B. Davis on January 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you, Karen. I’m grateful.

  4. Henry Shine on January 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Lauren, I’m a Friend Of Bill and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate and respect the way you address the subject of alcoholism. Thank you, Henry

    • Lauren B. Davis on January 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Thank YOU, Henry. Always delighted to meet another FOB. 😉

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